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I have Ubuntu running on a server and I use this for all development needs. I'd like to isolate my production and development environments and therefore I thought that it would be good to virtualize my OSs. I'd like to run two Ubuntu OSs on a virtualisation platform. I've never attempted anything of this sort before.

The only virtualisation platform that I know about is VMWare. Is VMWare and KVM the same?

So basically, I'll need to format everything and take it from there. Could some explain to me about how I can do this or point me to a nice document explaining how to do this?


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up vote 1 down vote accepted

KVM and ESXi are both virtualization hypervisors, the latter being much thinner (32MB footprint).

We can't really point you anywehere except the VMWare documentation and the internet (google). Thats how everyone else here learned.

  1. Read the ESXi installation and administration documents
  2. Install ESXi
  3. Install Guest number 1
  4. Install Guest number 2

and so on..

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Thanks Pauska. Which of the virtualisation hypervisors is generally popular? I had a small question about KVM — does KVM run inside Linux? If you see this article it seems that you have to install KVM on the OS first and the you install the the other OSs in the virtualisation tool. Did I understand this right? VMWare, i think install directly without an OS, right? Sorry if someone my questions are stupid. I'm just terribly lost wiht all of this. – Mridang Agarwalla Jul 8 '11 at 7:44
It's basically the same thing, ESXi boots up in a minimal OS/kernel, and then starts up the hypervisor. – pauska Jul 8 '11 at 7:45

The primary Linux virtualization platforms are:

  • VMWare, a commercial solution.
  • KVM, the native (and open source) Linux virtualization platform.
  • Xen, an alternate open source virtualization platform.

All of these products will let you run arbitrary operating systems. If your need is primarily for isolation of multiple Linux environments, then you may also want to consider the following lightweight virtualization platforms:

These will let you create isolated Linux environments, but will not let you run arbitary operating systems.

All of these products are well documented. Some simple searches will find you a variety of useful information to help you get started.

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VMWare and KVM are not the same.

I haven't used VMWare in a while but the last time I used it VMWare ESXi was free. The big gotcha with VMWare in my experience is hardware compatibility. If your hardware isn't compatible you have to do some hacking to make VMWare work on your hardware or you have to buy new hardware or use another solution or whatever.

There are other virtualization solutions as well such as VirtualBox, OpenVZ, Xen etc.. I like and use Xen myself to run a lot of debian virtual machines.



This book "The Book of Xen" is a great resource:

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Hi Caleban. I was investigation KVM. It seems that VMWare installed natively onto the hardware while KVm installs into a host OS. Am i right? What are the differences between KVM and VMWare? Thanks a lot. – Mridang Agarwalla Jul 8 '11 at 8:00
Plenty of differences. Yes, ESXi installs natively and is subsequently administered through a web interface. ESXi and KVM use completely different virtual disk formats, so are not compatible. – wolfgangsz Jul 8 '11 at 10:11

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